It's no Xbox One Kinect: PS4 voice commands will be strangled to start

PS4 controller camera
The PlayStation Camera will be of limited use at launch

Sony is holding a PS4 preview event in New York this week at which the PS4's voice command capabilities - or lack thereof - came to light.

Unlike the Xbox One, the PlayStation 4 will feature extremely limited voice command capabilities, Engadget reported.

Using a separately purchased PlayStation camera, PS4 users can vocally tell the console to start a game or turn off.

But voice commands can't be used to make the PS4 turn on or do much else, and not a single third-party app will utilize them when the new Sony console launches on Friday.

Just press the buttons

The Xbox One's Kinect sensor uses voice commands for practically everything, from turning the console on to selecting a TV channel. And that extends to third-party apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus.

Not so on PS4, though Sony representatives said they "hope" third-party app makers choose to start including voice command support eventually.

The PlayStation 4 is able to recognize users' faces and automatically log them into the correct account, though again you have to purchase the PlayStation Camera separately for that to work.

And though Sony previously confirmed that the PS4 features gesture controls of some sort, they're reportedly not being shown off this week.

Certain other PS Camera functions, including the ability for players to narrate gameplay footage streaming to Twitch or UStream or tell the console to take a screenshot, were outlined as well in a recent Sony FAQ.

The old-fashioned way

The PS4 has some interesting features, but it seems voice and gesture commands simply won't be at the forefront of the system.

Those buying a PS4 this week will have to use the controller for almost everything, so it's a good thing that the PS4 controller is so lovely you may never want to put it down.

We've asked Sony to provide any additional details that may be available, and we'll update here if we hear back.

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Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.